Here is collection a good teachings to
help disciples of Jesus Christ grow in
faith, truth, love, hope, grace and holiness.
These also address important issues in
the church today where correction and
clarity is needed.
FIVE ESSENTIAL ASPECTS IN BUILDING A DEEP RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
An aspect is one side or angle of something with many features, and as we study the Bible we see God desires us to have a deep relationship with him growing in 5 differing aspects or ways. These include as: His Servants, His Disciples, His Sons, to be Friends of God, and as the Lover of our soul. In each of these we must have a revelation and wisdom , and mature in understanding His expectations.
The 5 have both shared and differing elements that together bring wholeness, richness and balance. He wants us to serve him faithfully, be disciplined at following his teachings and commandments, to be His close friend, to know our place as sons in his family and to love him and recieve and give his love.
It is possible to become stagnant by focusing on mainly one way to relate to God and not developing others. An example would be: diligently seeking to be a faithful obedient and humble servant of God but neglecting to also be His friend, therefore limiting that special divine fellowship. And on the other side, in order to have a genuine, acceptable and deep friendship with God we need to understand the need to serve Him obediently as He is a great King.
Each of these 5 should be explored and studied in depth and applied, as there is great value in each to en-richen our relationship with God, as He desires & as He has purposed in our very creation. There can even be consequences for failing to develop them, so let us not be casual or lukewarm.
Perhaps He may be calling you to change your focus and develop your relationship in one or more of these ways in order to mature and grow? Ask Him.
There are very many scriptures for each of the 5 , here is just one for each:
— “Whoever desires to become great among you shall be your Servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10,43-45)
— “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My Disciple. Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?” (Luke 14,33-34)
— “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8,14-15)
— “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. And he was called the Friend of God.” (James 2,23)
— Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (Matt 22,37)
Deep calls unto deep. What aspects is God calling you to develop in your relationship with Him?
TRUE & FALSE GRACE
by Dr Michael Brown
A good teaching about TRUE & FALSE GRACE – Dr Michael Brown answers questions and unpacks misleading beliefs and statements about grace that are common, even wide spread, and damaging in the church today. Ensure your belief is biblical and built on the rock of obeying the word of the Lord.
THE REAL CAUSE BEHIND YOUR STRUGGLES
“What if I told you that every sin you are struggling with, every discouragement you are dealing with, even the lack of purpose you’re living with, are because of idolatry?”
Thus writes Idleman. “Idolatry seems so primitive. So irrelevant … andyet idolatry is the number one issue in the Bible, and that should raise caution for us.”
Idols have become harder to spot in modern times than the golden statue or carved animals of the Old Testament—they have morphed into all areas of our lives, some idols like success and family are difficult to consider as sins. … the most common modern-day gods that are at war for our hearts: food, sex, entertainment, success, money, achievement, romance, family—even ourselves.
“If you start scratching at whatever struggle you’re dealing with, eventually you’ll find that underneath is a false god,” Idleman says. “Until that god is dethroned, and the Lord God takes his rightful place, you will not have victory … Idolatry isn’t an issue; it is the issue.”
THE ANSWER IS … deep repentance & total surrender, to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. Surrender means dying to self & sin, considering yourself dead to the thought, desire & act of sin and living to God – as His word says “Sin will have no dominion over you”(Rom6,14) believe it . As we humble ourselves (by surrendering) He gives us more grace to live His way.
2 Cor 6, 14-18,+7,1 …. what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
James 4,6 “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
HOW TO WALK IN THE PEACE OF GOD
Calmness of mind and heart is an attitude and feeling we need in a world full of anxiety, distress & strife, and God’s word instructs us on how to overcome:
1.) Faith & Focus – If we abide in Jesus and stay focussed on Him we experientially know him as the Prince of Peace and the peace of His presence overwhelms us – “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isa 26,3). … “The fruit of the spirit is … peace” (Gal 5, 22). Worshipping in spirit and truth, prayer and reading the word of God are key for faith and focus.
2.) Obey his word by refusing anxiety and turning to prayer – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4,6-7)
3.) Shut out the anxious voice of the world and unbelief and think on the right things – “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil 4,8-9)
4.) Believe and Receive his promises – “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14,27) … “Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” (John 20,21) … Psalm 46,1: “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, …. 10 Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46,1) … even for your children “great shall be the peace of your children” (Isa 54,13)
5.) Repentance – “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.” (Isa 48,22) if there is unrepentant sin, there will be a lack of peace and conviction to first deal with issue confessing and forsaking the sin, before peace will manifest.
We are in the last days, the period of the lukewarm church. The following major Bible truths that are neglected in these modern times and need expounding, with depth and insight, very regularly, so there can be no misunderstanding, but great clarity on the issues. Lets get back to proclaiming them loudly.
1.) ETERNAL REWARD – the truth of Heaven, the conditions of entry, the rewards for faithful service, the eternal blessings of obedience, the need to get heavenly minded now, that few will make it, as its road is narrow. The eternal beauty, glory and splender of Heaven, the peace and harmony of the Kingdom of God.
2.) ETERNAL JUDGMENT – the truth of Hell, the consequences of sin, and for a christian who continues to sin, of everlasting torment, of Hell, of the Lake of Fire, the worm that never dies, the fire that is unquenchable, the many ways a person may end up in Hell, that most people are heading to Hell. Warnings against continuing to sin and to flee from the wrath to come. Beware of the deception of being told you will just lose rewards but you will still go to heaven, when scripture warns of Hell
3.) END TIMES – Rapture and the great need to live holy and get ready, the many left behind, the Great Tribulation, Mark of the Beast, antichrist, outpouring of wrath, Second Coming of Christ, the Millennial reign of Christ, the final rebellion, the great white throne of Judgment
4.) SIN – regular expounding on what sin is, works of the flesh, transgressions of God’s commandments, prevailing sins in the church, the need for deep repentance and total surrender, an ongoing repentance anytime one sins, the temporal and eternal consequences of continuing to sin. Sin needs to be clearly rebuked. Lets also ensure to preach repentance and embracing the grace of God to overcome & live free of sin.
5.) HOLINESS – Remember the forgotten command to `be holy as He is holy`, pursuing holiness and the narrow path, yielding to the sanctifying work of the Spirit, fighting and subduing the flesh, watching and praying, holiness inside and outside such as dressing modestly covering appropriately so as not to provoke lust in others. Holiness in words, attitudes, charity, fruit of the Spirit, kindness to the needy & love. Holiness not legalism.
6.) DEVOTION – the deep need of a strong prayer life everyday, of seeking God first, fasting, giving, worshiping in spirit and truth, to be separate from the world and to fellowship with God and likeminded people, to cut off worldly time wasting activities to spend more time on the eternal and be active in evangelism and making disciples.
7.) JESUS – the call to abide in Him, focus on Him, draw into deep communion, the atonement of His blood, the work of His cross, the power of His resurrection, the new creation in Him, and being led by the Holy Spirit. He, Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords must be lifted up and exalted (not the things of self, men and denominations) and He will draw people to Himself.
We could go on with other issues, but lets be a people and a church that will feed on and proclaim vital truths. Beware of a modern agenda with these items removed and the focus on more acceptable and earthly bound issues, blessings, prosperity and success formulas, money focus, church business, life style, even many things that are true but with the above vital list neglected!! On the other hand we also need a good balance with the true doctrines of grace, love, and freedom of the Spirit – Holiness, truth and freedom not legalism.
DIG YOUR WELLS DEEP IN HIS WORD, IN PRAYER, IN OBEDIENCE AND DRAW FORTH THE LIVING WATERS THAT CAN SUSTAIN US & BRING FORTH GOOD FRUIT IN ANY CONDITIONS. Fellowship and study and get active with likeminded people! God is Faithful and will led us in His will and in paths of righteousness, by still waters, in green pastures – IF WE SEEK HIM. Be sure of that.
CALL IT BY ITS REAL NAME —> SIN
Abortion = MURDER
Affairs = ADULTERY
One night stand = FORNICATION
Living together = FORNICATION
White lies = LIES
Sexy clothing = LUSTFULNESS
Cool & Fashionable = WORLDLINESS
Masturbation = SEXUAL IMMORALITY UNCLEANNESS
Flirting = LUST
Gay = SODOMY
Dirty jokes = COURSE JESTING
Colourful language = CURSING
The first words in the list are called `Euphemisms`. Dictionary.com defines a Euphemism as: “the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt.” Or Wikipedia: “A euphemism is a generally innocuous word or expression used in place of one that may be found offensive or suggest something unpleasant. Some euphemisms use bland, inoffensive, and often misleading terms for things the user wishes to dissimulate or downplay”
Let’s not downplay Sin, but call it what it is as the fake of many souls is at stake. Speak the truth and let it have its power unleashed to changes people lives.
CONFRONTING THE ERROR OF HYPER-GRACE
By Dr M.Brown
The biblical message of grace is wonderful, glorious and life-transforming. We can’t live without it for one second of our lives. But there is a message being preached today in the name of a new grace reformation, mixing powerful truth with dangerous error. I call it hyper-grace. One of the foundational doctrines of the hyper-grace message is that God does not see the sins of his children, since we have already been made righteous by the blood of Jesus and since all of our sins, past, present and future, have already been forgiven.
That means that the Holy Spirit never convicts believers of sin, that believers never need to confess their sins to God, and that believers never need to repent of their sins, since God sees them as perfect in his sight.
It is easy to see how such teaching can be dangerous, especially to a believer being tempted to compromise.
One hyper-grace teacher wrote this: “When God looks at me, He doesn’t see me through the blood of Christ, He sees me—cleansed! Likewise, He sees us as holy and righteous. He sees us, and He loves what He sees!”
Really? Always? 24-7? God always loves what he sees when he looks at his people?
Yes, he loves us, but does he always love what he sees?
Did Jesus love what he saw when he rebuked five out of seven congregations in Asia Minor in Revelation 2-3? Did Paul, writing on behalf of the Lord, love what he saw when he warned the Galatians that they had fallen from grace and become trapped in legalism? Did James, also writing as a servant of the Lord, love what he saw when he rebuked his readers for being “friends of the world” and “adulterers and adulteresses”?
And if the Lord doesn’t see our sins, why did James write that if a believer who was sick had also sinned, God would forgive him when he healed him (see James 5:14-15)? And if he doesn’t see our sins, why did the Lord discipline believers in Corinth because of their sins (see 1 Cor. 11:27-32)? (And pay careful attention to 1 Corinthians 11:32, “When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.”)
If Jesus doesn’t see our sins, why did he say to the church in Ephesus, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love” (Rev. 2:4, NIV)? And why did he says this to the church in Sardis? “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” (Rev. 3:1-3)
Does it sound like the Lord was thrilled with what he saw in Ephesus and Sardis?
If the Lord always “sees us as holy and righteous” and always “loves what He sees,” why did he rebuke the believers in Laodicea, telling them that they were “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17)? Why didn’t he say, “I see you as beautifully clothed, healthy, and rich?”
If he was so happy with what he saw in Laodicea, why did he threaten to spit the congregation out of his mouth (see Rev. 3:16)? And if believers never need to repent of their sins, why did Jesus say, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent” (Rev. 3:19)? And how interesting it is that the same Greek word used in John 16:8—where Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of its sins—is the word used by the Lord in Revelation 3:19 (translated there as “rebuke”; and note Rev. 3:22: this is the Spirit speaking!).
It is because God loves us that he rebukes us (not condemns us) and it is because sin is so destructive that he calls us to turn from it. This is the goodness of God, and this is what grace does, as Paul wrote in Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”
How tragic it is today when God’s people mistake the voice of His correcting love for the condemning voice of Satan, and how sad it is when they resist the purifying work of the Spirit, claiming that there’s nothing to purify since God no longer sees their sins.
Has He justified us by the blood of Jesus? Absolutely. Has He has set apart as holy to Himself? Without a doubt. Has He called us to be His sons and daughters, all by His love and grace? Yes He has. And it is because of these things that Paul wrote, “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Cor. 7:1).
What a beautiful, lofty calling. Don’t let anyone steal it from you.
DO YOU NEED HELP TO LIVE RIGHT?
Do you see sins and issues in your life that are not right? Don’t endanger your salvation, rather come boldly to the throne of Grace, confess your sins and obtain mercy and grace and cleansing of sin. Forsake those sins and pursue Christ in holiness, devotion, and in faith and obedience to His word. `Be holy as He is holy`, that is a command.
Those in CHRIST have access by Faith to a continual abundant supply of Grace and Divine Power through the Holy Spirit. This is His provision to empower us to live a life worthy of His calling, in godliness, holiness, obedience, faith, love, good works, and to overcome the world, the flesh and all the traps of the enemy. Ask, receive and abide in His Spirit and power
– “To those who have obtained like precious FAITH with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: GRACE and peace be MULTIPLIED to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as HIS DIVINE POWER HAS GIVEN TO US to us ALL things that pertain to LIFE and GODLINESS, through the knowledge of HIM who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us Exceedingly Great and precious PROMISES, that through these you may be PARTAKERS of the DIVINE NATURE, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2Pet1,1-4)
– “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4, 14-16)
– “the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses.” (Roms 8,26)
– “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more” (Rev 3, 10-12)
To live an overcoming life it is key that you stay close to God, read His word, have a discipled prayer life, and worship in Spirit and Truth. His grace and help is abundantly available for all who would draw near.
DRESS STANDARDS & MODESTY
One of the place the devil is very active today is fashion. He has made it normal and cool to wear t-shirts with an upside down cross (antichrist) or hideous death skulls (spirit of death), or celebrities, rappers, pop stars (idols). And he has even Hoodwinked and deceived many ladies to parade around in public exposing their all in super tight lycra gym outfits, mini skirts, low cut tops, tight pants, or even just wearing what used to be underwear (leggings) but with now no dress to cover them. Thereby provoking lust (adultery in the heart) and becoming stumbling blocks to others with their immodesty! Or some men into wearing pants that drop down showing their underwear. Oh be wise.
Now such fashions are the way of the world, but the Bible is clear that heaven bound saints are not to fall to complacency, compromise and worldly conformity. Rather to be holy inside and outside. Throw away (literally) the immodest & sexy adornments, and seek to conform to standards that reflect godliness and purity, that are modest and appropriate.
– Romans 12:1-2 … I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
– 1 Timothy 2,9-10 … in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.
– 1 Peter 3,3-5 … Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves
– Matt 5, 28-29 … I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
– I Corinthians 3:16-17 … Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT RINGS, JEWELRY, PERFUME & ETERNITY?
I provide this scripture study because I have been asked many times and some people in certain movements have been teaching that jewellery, perfume, colour in the hair, make up etc leads to Hell. Is that Biblical? Let’s read what the Bible has to say on the matter and see if they are a thing damnable to Hellfire, a permissible thing, a common thing, or a good thing. My remarks in ((brackets)) and at the end. Scripture is the truth, be guided by that alone.
– Gen 24, 22 … So it was, when the camels had finished drinking, that the man took a golden nose ring weighing half a shekel, and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels of gold, ….. 52 And it came to pass, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, that he worshiped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth. 53 Then the servant brought out JEWELRY of silver, JEWELRY of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother. (( Given as a gift of honor))
– EXO 35, 22 … They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing heart, and brought earrings and nose rings, rings and necklaces, all jewellery of gold, that is, every man who made an offering of gold to the LORD. (( Given as an offering, equating value))
– 2 Chronicles 20:25 …. When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they found among them an abundance of valuables on the dead bodies, and precious jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much. (( Equated as a valuable spoil))
– Prov 20,15 … There is gold and a multitude of rubies, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. (( Equated as a valuable thing))
– Prov 25, 4-5 … Take away the dross from silver, and it will go to the silversmith for jewellery. Take away the wicked from before the king, And his throne will be established in righteousness. (( clearly spoken in the positive))
– SoS 7, 1 … How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter! The curves of your thighs are like jewels, The work of the hands of a skilful workman. (( Used in the positive, equated with value ))
– Isiah 3, 17 … “Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, And walk with outstretched necks And wanton eyes, Walking and mincing as they go, Making a jingling with their feet, … 18 In that day the Lord will take away the finery: The jingling anklets, the scarves, and the crescents; 19 The pendants, the bracelets, and the veils; 20 The headdresses, the leg ornaments, and the headbands; The perfume boxes, the charms, 21 and the rings; The nose jewels, 22 the festal apparel, and the mantles; The outer garments, the purses, 23 and the mirrors; The fine linen, the turbans, and the robes. 24 And so it shall be: Instead of a sweet smell there will be a stench; Instead of a sash, a rope; Instead of well-set hair, baldness; Instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; And branding instead of beauty. (( Because of PRIDE, they would be judged and have these valued items removed and replaced with bad things.))
– Esther 2:12 … Each young woman’s turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women. (( Used in the positive, equates with beauty))
– Prov 27 , 9 … Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel. (( Used in the positive))
– John 12,3 … Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. (( Done in honor))
– Gen 41,42 … Then Pharaoh took his signet RING off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a GOLD CHAIN around his neck. (( Used in the positive ))
– James 2,2 … For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, (( A warning against the sin of showing partiality favouring the rich but no against the rings themselves))
– Job 42,10-12 … And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and …. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a RING of gold. Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. (( Gifts, honor, blessing, only in the positive))
– Luke 15, 22-24 … Jesus, giving parable of the prodigal son: “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a RING on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be MERRY. (( Very much a positive part of celebrating His Repentance ))
– 1Tim 2, 9-10 … in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. (( Be modest & appropriate, dont show off or try to impress others, but focus on godliness ))
– 1 Pet 3,3 … Do not let your adornment be MERELY outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (( Again rather than showing off the outward person, focus on developing the inner person))
DOES ONE OF THESE HAVE YOUR HEART?
Many people have become overtaken with what happens to a football, soccor ball, cricket ball, tennis ball or some video game, or worldly entertainment on the Hellevision; trivial passings that have no eternal significance but perhaps distract many from what is true and lasting!
Im not condemning sport, sport is fine to enjoy, but cautioning to beware as it is a big idol to many and a secret idol to some. How about you? It is on your mind during church service & the cause of you leaving early? Does it take away your prayer & word time? Is your Sundays set aside for God, for his service & seeking His face or for sports? Can you name all the players on the all the teams, averages, scores, records but you struggle to name the 10 commandments or the Beattitudes? Do you get more excited by the game than in worshipping God? Do you work up a lot of emotion over who wins and loses a meaningless game? If so, perhaps its time to fast from sport until you have brought it into order, or maybe even depart from it outright. (seek God)
When a simple sport gets out of true perspective and into the mega hype & mass money making celebrity thing that it is today, its easy to be drawn in and allow the temporal to eclipse the eternal, and emotion to eclipse pure devotion to the Lord. Let it not be so with you, the Lord wants all your heart. 1John 5, 21 “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”
THE NEW COVENANT in Jesus Christ is also called the MINISTRY of the SPIRIT and the Ministry of righteousness.
It also states that the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty (2Cor3). This liberty is not in anyway a lowering of God standards regarding sin or His expectation of holiness for a believer. But rather God has now provided tremendous power to be free from sin, to OVERCOME the world, the flesh and devil, and to be transformed – this is the work of the Holy Spirit.
To see this FRUIT in abundance a believer needs to maintain a vital connection with the Spirit of God through means such as: grace, obedience, thanksgiving, praise, worship, intimacy, prayer, repentance, abiding in the truth, and walking in love being careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit. Much has been provided to make you an OVERCOMER – just make your connections strong and open the door wide for His rivers of living water.
– 2Cor,317-18 …. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS
We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2Cor3,18)
Its the place of freedom, anointing, glory and transformation. As we are open and transparent & keep looking at Him we are changed, its so simple. The opposite is being consumed with self, either in pride of achievements or in false humility always focusing on your issues and not embracing the cleansing of His blood and gracious power to overcome. Repent & receive, look unto HIM and be changed, from glory unto glory!
KEEP YOUR FAITH CENTRED ON CHRIST
“I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the SIMPLICITY and PURITY of DEVOTION to CHRIST” (2Cor11,3)
Loving Him, worshipping Him, listening & following Him, Obeying His word, spending time in intimacy – keep these top in your devotion to Christ and dont be distracted by anything or anyone
DO YOU WANT TO BE FILLED & EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT?
— Luke 11,9-13 … “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, HOW MUCH MORE will your heavenly Father GIVE the HOLY SPIRIT to those who ask Him!”
— Mark 11, 22 …”So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. 25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
— Acts 2,38-39 …“Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
— Acts 1,8 … “you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
REPENTANCE IN GOD’S WORD
2 PETER 3:9.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
2 CHRONICLES 7:14.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
JOHN THE BAPTIST’S FIRST WORDS OF HIS PUBLIC MINISTRY, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
JESUS FIRST WORDS OF HIS PUBLIC MINISTRY, From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
2 Tim 2:19.
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that REPENTS, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
HE THAT COVERS HIS SINS SHALL NOT PROSPER, BUT WHOSOEVER CONFESSES AND FORSAKES THEM SHALL HAVE MERCY.
JAMES 4:8 AND 9.
DRAW NIGH TO GOD, AND HE WILL DRAW NIGH UNTO YOU. CLEANSE YOUR HANDS, YE SINNERS, AND PURIFY YOUR HEARTS, YOU DOUBLE MINDED. BE AFFLICTED, AND MOURN, AND WEEP, LET YOUR LAUGHTER BE TURNED TO MOURNING, AND YOUR JOY TO HEAVINESS.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, Repent and prepare the way for messiah is coming.
WHEN IS IT IMPOSSIBLE TO RENEW THEM AGAIN TO REPENTANCE?
A Bible teaching on Heb 6,4-6 – Where is the line crossed? At what point is someone beyond repentance?? Read on …
This is a very serious bible verse, a stern warning of the point where a person is beyond repentance and therefore effectively the walking damned, unredeemable, since they crucify for themselves the Son of God. It is a fearful place to be. But also a verse that some have stumbled on feeling vexed in heart having mistakenly felt they may have fallen & gone beyond hope. Lets look at it and divide the word of truth to determine who are these people and where is the line drawn:
— Hebrews 6,4-8 “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.”
Firstly, we see that “they fall away”, they leave Christ, departing from him. Its not that they fall into a sin, or struggle with the flesh but that they fall away, backslide or commit apostasy. If one reads the Book of Hebrews carefully they will see this is the very reason Paul was writing to them. The Hebrew believers being under continuing persecution (Heb 10,32-39) were growing weary and were under temptation to forsake Christ and return to Judaism to live at peace with (sinful) man. Paul warned them and called the to live by faith in a better covenant and endure their trials.
Secondly, we see that God’s word gives 5 conditions which these backsliders must meet before they would be considered beyond repentance. If a person leaves Christ without meeting these 5 points, they should be prayed for and encouraged to repent & return. The 5 points which take them beyond are:
1. “those who were once enlightened” – they have been enlightened or convicted of sin and of their need for salvation in Jesus.
2. “and have tasted the heavenly gift” – they have been born again and received Jesus, the heavenly gift.
3. “and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit” – they have been baptised in the Holy Spirit .
4. “and have tasted the good word of God” – they have a matured understanding of the word of God and know its goodness.
5. “and the powers of the age to come” – they have one or more of the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit in continual operation in their lives.
So we could conclude that they must be a mature believer walking in power – mature apostasy. And the falling away is not just a falling into sin, but a falling away, when sin has taken hold and taken over and the person has rejected the conviction to the point of rejecting Christ.
The Lord appeared to a prophet many years ago to show him on this point. The Lord showed a vision of a Pastor and his wife who was the church worship leader. She was a mature believer with the gifts of the Spirit operating in her life. One day a demon came to the women and tempted her with the pride of life, that she could be so much more, famous, beloved and rich. At first she resisted and rebuked the demon and it left. But over time it returned and soon she began to entertain such thoughts. At this point the prophet saw the demon enter into the women’s mind and appeared in there like a black spot. She failed to take these thoughts captive and became obsessed with idea. Over time she quit the ministry and went off to pursue a secular music career. Soon she also left her marriage and took adulterous lovers.
During this backsliding the Lord continued to convict her of sin and call her to repent and return, saying He would take her back if she repented, regardless of the gravity and amount of her sin. Such conviction is very uncomfortable and is difficult to endure, it can almost drive one insane. But over time she rejected the conviction saying in her heart I don’t want you Lord I want my own way. At this point the Holy Spirit departed from her, and the demon moved from her mind to her heart. As she met the 5 conditions of Heb 6,4-6, she had now crossed the line, where it is impossible to renew her to repentance. The Lord even told the prophet not to pray for her, according to 1John5,16 “There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that.” but to pray for her Pastor ex-husband who needed help.
Finally in the vision, the prophet saw the women die and was taken down to Hell and was shown her burning in the Lake of Fire, where she will be forever. This is what we see in the next verse in Heb 6, 7-8 “For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.”
While the wages of sin is death, and no sin should be continued in lest it continue all the way to Hell (as warned in Gal 5,19-21, Rev 21,8, Eph 5,3-7 that those who continue in such sins will not inherit the Kingdom of God), most sins can be repented of and cleansed through blood of Jesus by confessing and forsaking the sin. And there is grace and power in the Holy Spirit to overcome sin, the flesh, the world and the devil, and to live holy. But we see above the point where one is beyond repentance – Heb 6,4-6. I might add there are other sins which are unforgiveable – blaspheming the Holy Spirit, and taking the 666 mark of the beast during the Great Tribulation, and the case of suicide because by dying one forfeits the chance of repentance, dying in their sins of self murder & unfaithfulness (no murderer has eternal life – 1John3,15).
Finally the word of God exhorts the Hebrew believers in the next verses with these words of encouragement: Heb 6,9-12 “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through Faith and Patience inherit the promises.” Glory to God!
THE CHURCH OF TODAY is generally a shadow of the church in the Book of Acts BECAUSE IT DOES NOT PREACH AND LIVE THE CROSS.
Many are majoring on the minors, and minoring on majors, preaching prosperity gospel, hyper-grace, worldly success focus, entertaining music instead of worship in spirit and truth, false doctrines like once saved always saved, denominationalism etc … GET BACK TO THE CROSS!
The message of the CROSS is the power of God – it puts the work and person of CHRIST at the centre – saving, delivering, healing, sanctifying, transforming. And it puts in order His requirement for true disciples – the taking up of OUR CROSS – as essential in separating us from this world and separating us to HIM. The Cross –> Keep it in the centre of your faith.
– Gal 6:14 … God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
– 1Cor2,1 … And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
– Phil 3, 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.
– Luke 9,21-26 … JESUS: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.
– Gal 2,20 … “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
– Gal 6, 17 … “From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”
– 1Cor 1,17 … “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.”
– 1Cor 1,18-25 … or the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
ABIDING IN CHRIST IS THE KEY TO THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Abide means: to continue in, dwell in, remain in Christ. It is the strong place of connection to his life, grace, power and Spirit that produces good fruit in abundance. Its a continuous connection.
— John 15,5-6: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
– Good fruits: Fruit of the Spirit, soul winning, disciple making, spirit led ministry, devotional life, fruits of repentance, fruits of righteousness, works of faith & love. By these the Father is glorified.
– Abiding actions: daily prayer and worship, reading the word, mediating on the word, focusing on Christ, fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit, praying in the Spirit, repentance from fleshly and worldly sins, obedience to God’s commandments, and love.
In truth we are always abiding in something, either we have a strong continuing connection to Christ, or we are connecting in part to the world, the flesh and sin, and hence blocking the essential life/grace flow of the Holy Spirit. Wrong connections must be severed through repentance or a withering death will eventuate as Jesus warned.
If we bear good fruit we will be pruned to bear more fruit, but if we do not abide in Him and bear no fruit we will wither and be cast off , gathered and thrown into the fire and burned (Hell). This a separation of the true and false believers. Believers who choose to live for Christ or for self , and reap what they have sown.
BEWARE OF DECEPTIVE EMPTY WORDS
The Bible warns – “LET NO ONE DECEIVE YOU WITH EMPTY WORDS” when warning believers of the consequences of continued unrepentant sin. Empty words of `Once Saved Always Saved’ doctrine and false grace are often put forth today to dismiss these warnings, blunting holiness and numbing believers to the seriousness of God’s judgment. But empty words can do nothing to change the reality. We have been warned. Leave mens opinions, heed God’s word:
— Eph5,3: “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.”
Ensure to forsake sin and falsehood. Pursue holiness and repentance and faithfully abide in Christ
THE DANGER OF BEING SHUT OUT. AND THOSE WHO WILL BE THE LEAST OR THE GREATEST
Have you considered the warning Jesus gave in Matt 5,20: “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of Heaven.”
Here He is not referring to just the righteousness of faith by God’s grace (which is essential to be a born again believer), but he is aiming at how that faith is outworked in ones life: in genuine obedience or hypocritical disobedience. To demonstrate His point, Jesus then gives many examples in his sermon on the mount such as: lust in the eyes equated with adultery in the heart, hate being equated with murder, calling someone a fool is risking hellfire, and other issues of right and wrong conduct.
Mistakenly the Pharisees considered themselves very obedient but Jesus called them whitewashed tombs full of dead mens bones. Theirs was an outward pretence, a veiled disobedience with unrepentant inner sin, and cherished iniquities of the heart. It was a hypocritical show and religion of partial obedience. In his sermon Jesus is warning His disciples (you & me) if we live the same error we also cannot enter Heaven – and clarified it saying there would in fact be “no means” by which they could enter. One could shout `grace grace` at the gates of heaven but they would remain shut to the unrepentant hypocrite who loves and practices a lie.
He is calling for obedience on the inside and outside, so beware of hidden sins such as: pride, lust, hate, coveting, idolatry, envy, self righteousness, malice, vanity, greed, presumption, unforgiveness etc that lead to this trap. This calls for humility, transparency, repentance, forsaking of sin, cleansing by the blood, grace to resist sin and live holy & obedient.
To hammer home the point lets note the context in which Jesus said this as He was referring to the previous verse –> “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these Commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 5, 19) wow!
None of us wants to be shut out of heaven, or be the least in heaven with all rewards stripped away, so lets prize highly obedience to God’s commandments, on the inside and outside, and be concerned to teach them to others also. As Jesus said, the faithful in these things will be called great in the kingdom of Heaven!!
— Psalm 51,6 “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.”
If you need to repent and make things right with God, read the rest of Psalm 51 which is a wonderful prayer of repentance and restoration for a believer.
DO YOU HAVE MODERN DAY IDOLS ??
–> Thus says the Lord God : “Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations”. (Ezekiel 14, 6)
WATCH OUT for defiling Modern Day Idols, such as – Worldly movies, TV, soap opera, rock stars, rappers, celebrities, worldly fashion, love of money, selfish ambitions, entertainment addictions, lust, pornography, tattoos, greed, sexy immodest dressing (harlotry) , your own life plans, vanities and self wilfulness: where its always your will , your way, your pride, oh Repent and turn away!
What about obsessions? Are you obsessed with football or sports, or with food, or with computer games or demonic cartoons, or with taking endless selfies, or with singing Karaoke with worldly songs pretending to be a worldly pop star, singing songs of Mylie Cyrus, GaGa, Beyonce, Michael Jackson and other ungodly performers, defiling yourself. Do you enjoy this rather than worshipping God, are you rapture ready? think again! Repent and turn away!
Or do you have Catholic images, idols, rosary, saints picture? Or Chinese cat idol to bring you luck, or other religious idols or still reading horoscopes just to see what it says, or doing yoga which is a hindu spiritual exercise. Repent and turn away!
Lets workout repentance, turning away from all vain things, yes deeply repent & forsake all idols, and turning our hearts, lives and affections to seek His face and know the heart of our Father in Heaven, and our Lord and King –> ”And you shall LOVE the LORD your GOD with ALL YOUR HEART, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first COMMANDMENT.” (Mark 12,30)
As you give yourself in true devotion, worship and intimacy to the Lord, you will discover true life, real joy, and total fulfilment! Yes because that is what He made you for. But you must renounce those distracting , competing, defiling worldly idols. Repent of them, Reject them, Renounce them! As Idolators will not inherit the Kingdom of God unless they repent. Set yourself to Seek & abide in Christ — “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16,11) What a promise! Be holy as He is holy!
— “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (1John5,21)
DEAR CATHOLIC’S, Mary is not a perpetual Virgin to be idolised. The Bible clearly shows that after the virgin birth of Jesus, she had 4 other sons and a few daughters. Obviously she had normal marital relations with her husband to have those children. If you seek to be saved then the idolising of Mary must cease and be replaced by giving your life fully to Jesus Christ.
PLAIN TRUTH: — Mark.6.3 “Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?”
— Matt 12.46-50: “While Jesus was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.” But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”
The traditions of men that cant save you. Seek the truth in the Bible
OBEDIENCE TO HIS COMMANDMENTS
Didnt Jesus say its very important to obey the moral laws – the commandments of God – yes indeed He did! Is this in conflict with grace & faith? Not at all, as true faith, real faith obeys!! But faith without works (actions that correspond to belief) is dead (James 2).
— Jesus: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 5,17-21)
Didn’t Jesus also warn that there would be disobedient followers who on the judgment day would hear him say – “‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matt 7,23) – Lawlessness means to live without law, disregarding his law , breaking of the law.
And we are talking here of the moral laws of God such as outlined in the 10 commandments, which are summed again in 2 great commandments and as well as others. (Different from ceremonial & sacrificial laws which found their completion in Jesus Christ and His work of the cross). But moral laws continue, as they are part of God’s unchanging righteousness
Proverbs 30:12 … “There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness.”
Beware of being like this generation = worldliness
1John2,15 … Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
MODERN DAY PHARISEES
Watch out for the modern day Pharisees, Wouldnt-sees, and Couldnt-sees , as those ones will make you Sad-u-see
Matthew 23:25-26 … “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.”
Cast off the traditions and bondages of men, erroneous interpretations, legalism and unbridled licence. Know the Spirit of truth who will lead us into all truth.
DOING GOOD: THE FRUIT OF GOODNESS & KINDNESS
“Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” >> God’s love compels us to show kindness and do good to others. Such kindness as sharing the message of salvation with the lost, helping those in need, giving & forgiving, gently correcting the wayward, being a blessing, encouraging, disciplining saints, strengthening the weak, praying for the lost, etc. These fruits of the spirit (goodness and kindness) we may delight to do, but also sometimes there are reasons we get weary, discouraged & crushed. Let us name a few cause of weariness and look unto Christ for encouragement to overcome:
1) People can be selfish, ungrateful, evil, and abusive.
Yes but these same did Christ die for, suffered great pain for, loved them even while they were his enemies. God is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful (Luke 6). I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you (only) love those who love you, what reward have you? (Matt 5)
2) The needs can seem so big and so overwhelming we get discouraged and tempted to shrink back.
Yes but Christ died for all people and took all sins, to give opportunity for all to come to Him to be saved. He upholds the whole universe by His word of power, and nothing is impossible with God. As we follow His plans we are His hands and feet to a lost world. Through good times and bad, we can learn the secret Paul learned, that we can do all things in Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4), that we might help and save some
3) Weariness form our own lack of prayer, word, worship & obedience.
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. … As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent”. (Rev 2,15-16)
4) It may seem we sow and sow year after year in evangelism and making disciples but still looks like we see so little fruit.
But let us not forget God’s patience with us over much time, His forbearance of our failings and faults. With the Lord a thousand years is but like a day, and that there is seed time and harvest. And he waits and persists as he draws men to Himself not willing for any to perish but all to come to repentance. In the midst of a dark, sinful and busy world His still small voice quietly whispers in our hearts “Go ye into all the world and make disciples”. Let us recall that even one souls saved from a eternal Hellfire, even one brother turned form backsliding, or one saint discipled off the broadway & onto the the narrow way to Heaven are the precious treasures God desires, & for such we persist.
“See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5,7-8)
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us DO GOOD, especially to those who are of the household of faith”. (Gal 6,9-10) …. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ”. (vs2)
True faith listens to God & acts, takes heed of His warnings, makes vital preparations, humbly obeys commands, works to fulfill His instructions, understands the times & seasons, and seeks to warns others who are blinded to the coming dangers, and enters into the eternal rewards …
— “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” (Hebrews 11, 7)
— “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? …..Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2, 15 +17-18)
“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working TOGETHER WITH his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” (James 2,19-24)
True faith has corresponding actions (works) that proves its genuine. Faith without corresponding actions (works) is dead.
TRUST & OBEY
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE LUKEWARM ?? (Test yourself)
You are a Christian but the truth is you like doing worldly things more than godly things. You are zealous for that new TV series and hollywood movie, those pop, rock and rap songs, keeping an eye on those celebrities, taken up with football teams & scores and stats, they have your heart and affections more than God. You do some works for God yes, but are somewhat slothful in devotion, prayer, Bible reading, worship, church, tithe, evangelism. You like a feel good gospel. There is little in your life that is an offence to the ungodly, in fact they feel comfortable around you, you act and talk like them in some ways. You havent made much efforts to inform them of the truth, as you aren’t totally sure if they really will burn forever in the Lake of Fire. You are only mildly concerned with the things God is concerned with. Souls heading to Hell doesn’t move you to actions, warnings of Jesus soon coming doesn’t awaken you to urgency, you dont even see the increasing danger to your own soul. You cruise along in a state of complacency, open to degrees of compromise. Your not overly sinful but somewhat worldly. You think you are doing well as you have some success in life, but in truth God is unimpressed. In fact you are blind to what He thinks as you have pushed Him away from the centre of your life. You do permit Him the occasional visit, but that space is mostly occupied by other loves. Your not backslidden and away from God (cold), but not full-on committed and whole-hearted to Him either (hot). You are somewhere comfortably in-between (lukewarm). Such a state, as Jesus said, is vomit worthy.
— Rev 3,14-21 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be Zealous and Repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
WORLDLY MUSIC? WORLDLY SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES? WATCHING WORLDLY MOVIES? a SIN??
If it promotes sin a believer has no place being entertained by what God hates, lest we be counted His enemy. The fear of the Lord is the hatred of evil, but the lukewarm are entertained by evil. A lot of defilement can come through the Hell-evision, Helly-wood, Baal-ywood, the Sin-ema, the Sin-ternet or the Fox-hell , so be careful to only view what is spiritually edifying and wholesome. Set no wicked thing before your eyes.
DO YOU NEED A SPIRITUAL HOUSE CLEAN?
Are you Watching for the coming of the Lord, but also Watching worldly TV and movies that promote sexual immorality, corse jokes, nudity, taking of the Lord’s name in vain, blasphemy, gossip, slander, violence and murder, drunkeness. Still listening to Michael Jackson, rappers, nightclubbers, rock bands, pop stars and other worldly music? Got the dvd’s? Got the cable tv? Well maybe they have got you. Rapture ready? Think again!
— James.4.4-5: “Adulterers and adulteresses. Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?
DO YOU NEED A FACEBOOK CLEAN UP?
Have a look through your photos. Ladies, do you have photos posted of yourself in mini skirts, sexy tight pants and low cut tops, or selfies blowing seductive kisses. Best repent and delete them lest you be guilty of stumbling others into adultery of the heart. Men what about pages you have liked with women in sexy gym outfits and swim suits? People, what about flirty chats on private messages with seductive suggestions and photos? Also, are you following FB pages of ungodly celebrities, broadroad entertainers of darkness such as Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Kardasians and many others? Best disconnect from them, and re-connect to holiness. Clean up!!
— 1John 2,15: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
Throw away worldly defilements. Repent. Refocus. Clean up. Set your house in order. Make whatever change is needed. Don’t allow worldly defilements to stain your garment. JESUS is coming for a Holy Bride without spot or blemish.
— Mat.6.22-23. “The lamp of the body is the EYE. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
Pursue holiness, seek the Lord while He may be found, read and study His word, worship and praise the King of Kings, go preach His word to the lost, make disciples. Abide in Hm who is life, light, love, truth, holy, pure & eternal.
FORCE THE QUESTION !!!
`Elijah forced the question in 1 Kings 18:”How long will you halt between two opinions?” Preachers need to force the question. How long should a lukewarm congregation teeter between rot and revival? Force the question! Why can’t we have miracles in our services? Force the question! Do you want me to be a real pastor or a game show host? Force the question!` (Mario Murillo)
To force the question means to preach the truth in a way that brings people to the point of action & change, to the place where it is uncomfortable to remain the same. As evangelist Smith Wigglesworth once said “Its my job to make people either glad or mad, but I cant leave them to same”.
Don’t be a timid people pleaser, seeker sensitive, wimpy water downer, truth-hider, sin rebuke avoider, half gospel preacher. Force the question! There is no time for games in the pulpit, home group, social media, face to face witnessing, or whatever your platform. Its time to be a bold and faithful servant and bring people the message they really need to see true change. Speak the full truth in love, the way Jesus gave it, and the way Paul, Peter & John the baptist gave it. Force the question!
Souls hang in the balance and its time many got fed up, fired up, stood up and spoke up! Is it going to be sin or salvation, worldliness or repentance, compromise or Holiness? Force the question! Is it going to be wise or foolish virgin, sheep or goat, rapture or left behind? Force the question! Is it going to be life or death, Heaven or Hell, Paradise or the Pit? Force the question! Ensure your trumpet makes a clear sound, as God will call us to account for the ministry and messages we share.
— “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2Tim4,1-5)
7 STAGES OF BACKSLIDING AND FALLING AWAY (PART 1)
In the Parable of the prodigal son, taught by Jesus, we see the downward progression in 7 stages for one who was in the family but falls away. Whether tempted by big or little sins be aware that the broadway is a deceptively slippery slop. Sin can take you much further than you want to go, and cost you much more than can be realised. Lets look at the 7 steps and heed the warning and avoid them:
Text — Luke 15,1: “Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ (1- Self will). So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together (2. Selfishness), journeyed to a far country (3. Seperation), and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living (4.Sensuality). But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land (5. Chastisement) , and he began to be in want (6. Scarcity). Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything (7. Desperation).
1. Self-will – The first step downward is away from God’s will to imposing our own will. Whether in obvious actions or in a quiet subtle way, it is an act of rebellion. In the fall of Lucifer we see the same pattern where he said over and over “I will”, and he continues to tempt us to move in self-will the same today.
2. Selfishness – self-will then leads to actions to gratify our fleshly needs for self sufficiency and to possess, covert and control. To do our own thing, to gather to ourselves what we want.
3. Seperation – It is hard to be close to God while desiring sin, and without repentance the desire to separate and seek our own desires will prevail.
4. Sensuality – Giving ones self over to indulging in fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life, such as: sexual immorality, greed, worldliness, boasting, selfish ambitions, carnality etc
5. Chastisement – Judgment begins at the household of God. He chastens those He loves. In His love He will go to lengths to bring back those who fall. He allows a trial to disrupt the downward fall and awaken those asleep in sin. In this case a famine.
6. Scarcity – This step is the reaping of what has been sown in sin and irresponsibility, combined with the chastening of God to bring them to a place of need, `he began to be in want’.
7. Desperation – the place of suffering , prolonged need, painful regret, humiliation, futility & discomfort. Its the low place where we can reflect on the consequences of our sin and to acknowledge that there is a way that seems right to a man but the end of it is death. In this rock-bottom place the prodigal son soon `came to his right mind` and started upward in the process of true repentance.
– Proverbs 14:14 “The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above”
If you find yourself somewhere on this path, stop and consider the end. You can jump off and turn around to seek the ways of God again today.
7 STEPS BACK FOR THE BACKSLIDER, TRUE REPENTANCE (part 2)
In the parable of the Prodigal Son, taught by Jesus, we see 7 steps in the process of genuine Repentance. Some people when they fall are only prepared to take limited shallow steps and live compromised, deceived and distant. While others have deeper contrition and go all the way. For those who are loitering on the broadroad, lets consider the way back in 7 steps ….
– Luke 15,17 “But when he came to himself (1-Realisation), he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father (2-Resolution), and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son (3-Repentance). Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
“And he arose and came to his father (4-Returning). But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ (5-Reconciliation)
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet (6-Restoration) And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. (7-Rejoicing)
1. Realisation – the revelation that we are going the wrong way, by our own choices and unless we make major changes we are doomed to remain in defeat and ultimately death.
2. Resolution – the clear cut decision to stop sinning and turn back to God and doing what He requires.
3. Repentance – contrition, godly sorrow, and confession of the sin. The acknowledgement that we have sinned against God and are worthy of judgment.
4. Returning – Going beyond just good intentions, into taking direct required actions to return to God.
5. Reconciliation – Praying prayer of repentance and confessing sins to God (Psalm 51), leaving sinful associations and activities, retuning to prayer, devotion, church, obedience. And receiving the forgiveness, cleansing, grace and mercy of God, and His loving embrace.
6. Restoration – having your name written back in the Lamb’s book of life, putting back on the gift of the righteousness of Christ, restoring the fellowship of the Spirit, feeling like part of the family again.
7. Rejoicing – thanking, praising and worshiping God for all He has done, and knowing that there is much joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents. Thankfully serving God , as He who is forgiven much loves much.
If you have fallen, don’t run from God, run to Him.
– “Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55,7)
How Many Apostles were there in the New Testament ?
More than most people think. Let go through them all ….
12 – the orginal 12
13 – Matthias, who replaced Judas
14 – Paul , Acts 14,14
15 – James, the half brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem church—Galatians 1:19
16 – Barnabas–Acts 14:14
17 – Apollos– Corinthians 4:6-9
18 – Timothy, 1Thes 1,1 and 2,6
19 – Silvanus– I Thes 1:1 and 2:6
20 – Epaphroditus–Philippians 2:25. While the KJV translates the word as “messenger”, the Greek word (apostolon) is actually “apostle”.
21 & 22 – Two unnamed apostles in 2 Corinthians 8:23. “If anyone inquires about Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker concerning you. Or if our brethren are inquired about, they are messengers[c] of the churches, the glory of Christ”. Again, the Greek word is “apostoloi” but is translated here as “messengers”.
23 & 24 – Andronicus and Junia–Romans 16:7 “Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.”
25 – Finally, Jesus Christ the “Apostle and High Priest of our profession.”
That makes 25 apostles in the New Testament!